Montag, 9. November 2015

Chapter 4

Amina flees
Part 1

She climbs the narrow stairs to the small shed they call her chamber. Dim and miserable as it is, it was her home till this moment. She cannot let go the sight of the Lord in the barn. I have to concentrate now, so I do not forget anything. Everything has to be fast, I cannot rest.
She rips off her skirt, attaches it to the nail on the wall. She takes the her knife, her mother gave her, and cuts short her long dark hair. She will bury the tufts later in the forest. Nobody should find her hair and  possibly use it to  bring a curse upon her. She pulls on a  brown peasant blouse and black trousers, with which she came here. Her stockings and boots are waiting in the locker, she flings the clumsy clogs into the corner, these are for farmers not for her. The boots are just right for the long way awaiting her. She pulls the brown leather bag from the locker, the dark red cap of her father, and a petticoat. A small linen bag contains three silver guilder and four shillings, and the little golden Hand of Fatima, which she got from her mother. It is a finely chiseled work and has protected her until now and it will continue to do so. She kisses the little amulet and puts it deep down into the bag. My beautiful mother. The cold climate at the Black Sea coast made her sick with  pneumonia – she could not be rescued. Even her father, who had the healing powers of the Sinti was powerless against this insidious disease. Oh Mama, Mama, send me your angels, prays Amina. Do not cry, do not cry, she talks to herself. The monks in the monastery will help me and not do anything to me. Although the monastery is plundered, maybe I can hide myself and help them with the laundry. The soldiers, troops of Gustavus Adolphus, I have to fear.  Still, anything is better than the witch's tower.
The linen bag with the money she hangs around her neck and bandages her chest tightly to hide her breast and have a perfect camouflage as a man. She is Amin now. On top in the sack she puts her wooden spoon. A spoon is always good to have.

Amina takes the leather bag and goes gently but quickly down the stairs. She makes great strides over the third and sixth steps, they creak always so. No one is in the house . When they realize that I am no longer here, they will come looking for me, she thinks again. They will call me the first suspect. Oh, I can- not go into the witch’s tower,  they will torture me, I cannot stand it. Thoughts race through her head. Again and again she remembers Marco. Only him, Hannah and David I can trust here. She takes the road to the garden. In the garden house Marco has his workshop, he sleeps there. Carefully, she hurries behind the house, until she reaches the garden gate. It has recently been oiled. Luckily, it does not squeak when being opened now. She sneaks to the back along the hedge, comes to the house, knocks on the door with the prearranged sign, once, pause, then twice. Marco opens the door, he's always up early. He is holding a brush with red paint in hand. His gray trousers have patches of color, his blue embroidered shirt also. His dark hair shines. When he sees Amina, his eyes light up, he puts down the brush on the palette to embrace her. He is painting a sunrise, the picture on his easel.
"So you're there early, dear, come to me."
Amina keeps silent in his embrace, then exclaims:
"Marco, I have to go away, to Seligenstadt."
 "Amina, amore mio, you are joking, do not torment me, where is your beautiful hair, what have you done?"
She enters. Amore mio he says, her heart is pounding. Oh Marco, it will be hard without you, do not think of it, Amina, she admonishes herself.
"It's no joke, Marco, I must continue. I am now Amin, no more Amina, it's less dangerous for me - with the soldiers in the area. In a few days please inquire after me at the abbey in Seligenstadt, I have to hurry now, before it gets any later. "
Marco stares at Amina. What does she say?
"What happened, tell me. I want to come with you, wait for me, let me pack fast, I can’t let you go alone, impossible in the forest, in these times. From there we’ll go back to Venice, where it is warm and wonderful. There we will be happy."
He steps toward her, he wants to take her in his arms again.
"Marco, it is because of the Lord, Arnulf, he is in the stable, I think he is dead. He looked as if he was poisened. They will surely suspect me, because I have lived with Grete, the herb woman, until she died. They know that I am familiar with herbs.”
Marco is stunned, he hugs her tightly, as if he could never let her go. Stroking her face. Kissing her cheeks, her eyes.
 "You're not a poisoner," he murmurs into her hair, "Never." She feels so good in his arms, so protected, not alone. I mustn’t think this, such thoughts will weaken me, I need to continue fast, fast… Otherwise I can’t do it. She frees herself from his warm security. Tears stream down her face:
 "Marco, we can’t go together. It takes too long until you're done. They will start looking for me, maybe they are on already. We’ll meet again soon, Marco. I’ll give David a message, no matter,  when I'm in Seligenstadt, I'll look for him”
"Oh, Bella, how can I let you go alone, even though I know how brave, brave and strong you are. Now that I've finally found you. I’ll  follow thee, as fast as I can, in a day or two to get to you. Then you're not alone anymore. "
He holds her, she winds herself out  from his embrace, even if it feels as if she will lose herself.

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